This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. See our privacy statement
World Wide Words logo

Cymbocephalic

Pronounced /ˌsɪmbəʊsɪˈfælɪk/Help with IPA

I flew to the medical dictionaries for elucidation on this word, which formally refers to a person having an abnormally long and narrow skull, misshapen due to a congenital condition. What happens is that one or more of the sutures in the head — fibrous joints between the bones of the skull — close before the brain has finished growing.

The condition is recorded under many different names, depending on which sutures are involved and the shape of the resulting deformation; some of the other terms are acrocephaly (Greek akron, tip), dolichocephaly (Greek dolikos, long), plagiocephaly (Greek plagios, slanting), brachycephaly (Greek brakus, short), trigonocephaly (Greek trigonos, three-cornered), tectocephaly (Latin tectum, a roof), oxycephaly (Greek oxus, sharp), and scaphocephaly (Greek skaphos, a light boat or skiff).

In all these terms, the last element is from Greek kephale, head. In cymbocephalic the first part is from another Greek word for a small boat, kymbe.

Page created 26 Jul. 2003
Last updated 28 Jan. 2005

Support World Wide Words.

Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.


Buy anything from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you.

Buy from Amazon UK Buy from Amazon USA

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved. See the copyright page for notes about linking to and reusing this page. For help in viewing the site, see the technical FAQ. Your comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-cym1.htm
Last modified: 28 January 2005.